The Spanish earth

United States, 1937

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Made largely in the village of Fuentaduena, 40 miles from Madrid on the Valencia road, in the front lines and in Madrid itself. The story centres around the necessity for keeping the road to Madrid open, and the life of the villagers of Fuentaduena who were working against time and in spite of bombing from the air, to complete and irrigation channel which would bring water to their fields and enable them to grow food for the besieged city of Madrid. Commentary and narration by Ernest Hemmingway; photography by John Ferno and Joris Ivens; editing by Helen van Donen; musical arrangement from Spanish folk tunes by Marc Blitzstein and Virgil Thomson; production committee - Archibald MacLeish, Lillian Hellman and John dos Passos.


production company

Contemporary Historians Production


Joris Ivens



Production places
United States
Production dates

Collection metadata

ACMI Identifier




Subject categories

Agriculture, Business, Commerce & Industry → Farm life - Spain

Agriculture, Business, Commerce & Industry → Spain - Rural conditions

Anthropology, Ethnology, Exploration & Travel → Spain - Rural conditions

Anthropology, Ethnology, Exploration & Travel → Village communities - Spain

Armed Forces, Military, War & Weapons → Bombing, Aerial

Armed Forces, Military, War & Weapons → Combat

Armed Forces, Military, War & Weapons → Spain - History - Civil War, 1936-1939

Climate, Environment, Natural Resources & Disasters → Irrigation


Economics, Philosophy, Politics, Religion & Sociology → Death

Food, Health, Lifestyle, Medicine, Psychology & Safety → Death

History → History

History → Spain - History - Civil War, 1936-1939

Short films

Short films → Short films - United States




Black and White


VHS; Access Print (Section 1)

16mm film; Access Print (Section 1)

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